Going Back to School and Feeding Kids Despite Rising Food Costs
It is officially back-to-school season in Chicagoland.
Shopping carts are full of pencils and crayons, new shoes and socks, and everything else a child needs to start the school year off right. Soon quiet hallways will be filled with lockers slamming and children sharing summer stories. Nothing excites us more than knowing that soon 55 Blessings in a Backpack sites will start again, feeding thousands of children every weekend. And for many of those children, that is the best part of returning to school.
But with all the routine and certainty that comes with going back to school for a child, we see signs of great uncertainty everywhere we look. Prices are rising everywhere — gas, food, even postal stamps. The war in Ukraine, as well as domestic issues, further add to this. Blessings in a Backpack is not immune to these rising prices and ripple effects, with our costs increasing as we look ahead to the 2022–2023 school year.
However, due to our National Food Solution and other efficiencies we’ve implemented, Blessings in a Backpack can decrease the negative impact of the rising prices and uncertainties. With our collective buying power, we can work with our food producers and vendors to negotiate on pricing and stay ahead of any shortages through monthly forecasting. By continuing to pool our buying power through the national food solution, we increase our ability to offset market uncertainties to feed more kids. Plus, we get the best nutrition possible at these price points!
At Blessings in a Backpack, and with your help, our primary goal is to ensure all of the uncertainties do not interfere with providing children with the food they need over the weekend. This school year, let’s come together to feed kids over the weekend.
A teacher shared with us:
“On the first day of school, I used to ask my students to share something fun they did over the summer. Many spoke of going to the beach or visiting grandparents. But one year, a little boy, we’ll call him Milo, said he didn’t do anything fun and was visibly upset by the question. I pulled Milo aside. He confided in me that he didn’t go on vacation — or anywhere! — because his family didn’t have money; he didn’t have much food at home and often felt hungry. That day, I realized that some kids, like Milo, don’t enjoy summer. They like being at school where they have food to eat.”
Do you have a hunger-related story to share?
- Maybe as an adult, you had a child, like Milo, confide in you that they’re hungry.
- Or, as a child, you liked school more than summer because it provided consistent access to food, and you felt safe.
- Or, maybe recently, you were part of a conversation about childhood hunger in your community.
Tell us by filling out the form below. By sharing your story, you will inspire others to support Blessings in a Backpack and help feed kids who might otherwise go hungry!
By filling out the form, you permit us to share your story on Blessings in a Backpack’s social media and other digital channels.